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Fertilizing Crab apple trees??

Old 12-20-2004, 11:01 AM
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Default Fertilizing Crab apple trees??

This year on the property I manage I spent the spring pruning and fertilizing old apple trees. It looks like quite a few of them are coming back and bearing fruit.
We also have some nice goves of wild crab apple trees. I was wondering if it would benefit to fertilze those crab apple trees next spring. If so what type of fertizler should I use? And how would I apply it? And waht would be the correct time of the year to apply it?
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Old 12-20-2004, 07:45 PM
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Default RE: Fertilizing Crab apple trees??

Duckwhacker, pruning and fertilizing any apple tree will definitely help them bear fruit if it is done correctly. Since I don't know where you are from I would suggest that you do the pruning and the fertilizing at the same time. It should be done in the late winter before the sap starts to rise from the roots. In Virginia I would do it in February.

You would want either an all purpose 10-10-10 or similar fertilizer. The middle number is the amount of phosphorous, and this is what they need to flower and develop fruit. Use at least a middle number of 10.

As for application it should be sprinkled around the outer edges of the limbs; also known as the drip line, this is where the feeder roots are located. Do this part before you prune the limbs. Just don't overdo the fertilizing or pruning.
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Old 12-21-2004, 04:04 PM
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Default RE: Fertilizing Crab apple trees??

Criggster; we prune our fruit trees when they're dormant and then spread the first fertilizer just after the snow melt has ocurred. You're definitely correct about the amount to prune. If you take off too much wood the sucker growth is much greater. A good rule of thumb is never to take off more than 10% of the fruiting wood in one year. You can break this rule when removing diseased or very badly placed branches but it's better to spread major reshaping over several years.

Dan O.
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Old 12-21-2004, 10:17 PM
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Default RE: Fertilizing Crab apple trees??

duckwacker -

What are you calling "crabapples"?

I'm curious - because in my neck of the woods - people oftern refer to American Hawthorn (thornapple) as crabapples.

If that were the case for you - I'd say - don't spend to much time on those thorny "apple" trees. I've yet to see a deer that will seriously eat this fuit - though I'm sure others will say they have - it probably depends on what else is available.

If the crabapple are just "wild apple trees" - then I'd place 10-10-10 around the drip line - about 1 handful per inch diameter of the trunk - like I do for regular apple trees.

FH
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Old 12-25-2004, 07:21 PM
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Default RE: Fertilizing Crab apple trees??

everything that was told 2 u is correct...10 10 10 is the thing u want. if u want an easy way out...go to home depot and get the fertilizer stakes for fruit trees. u bang them in the ground and the rain does the rest
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Old 12-25-2004, 09:06 PM
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Default RE: Fertilizing Crab apple trees??

Hey Farm Hunter, I think we are talking about the same thing. This trees have 1 to 2 inch thorns. Generally grow about 8 ft max and have small green apples about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. I don't know about your end of the woods but here in PA, deer love them. Especially after they have fallen from the tress and have ripened some. And the small trees make execellent cover for the deer. We do have some wild apple trees on the property but they don't ahve any thorns associated with them.
Take care.
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Old 12-27-2004, 04:25 AM
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Old 12-27-2004, 04:27 AM
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